Life is simple. Yes, it is. There is only one question that defines your life and success.

The thing is, we don’t live that way. Imagine yourself a few years back, and you’ll get all your answers. While in school, you knew putting in some extra hours would fetch you good grades, reading great books would broaden your horizons, or no drinking and smoking will keep you healthy. Shit like these, you know, you just know them. 

See, it’s simple. You had the solutions all this while. You knew how you would end up doing some shitty job since you didn’t work hard or didn’t follow what you loved. Yet, here you are, in a menial job or a high-paying one, but you still don’t sleep well. You don’t end up back home all satisfied and ecstatic. It’s more of a drag to the office and then back home in search of quiet.

Look, what we did to ourselves after having all the answers.

Why it all seems to be some deep hole when all this time we knew the answers to avoid misery or at least live on our terms? 

We all crave riches, happiness, a great body, and relaxed life. Some want to be successful, respected, or admired in society.

Who wouldn’t want that?

It’s easier to want and like. Sit on your couch, watch Netflix while hogging on that loaded sandwich or nachos, and desire everything. 

I’ve seldom asked myself the question, ” What do I want in my life?” and there was a repeated pattern of answers I came up with, “I want to be happy,” or “I want to have a lot of money,” or I want to do something good.” 

Ya ya, stuff like that, as if you never said this to yourself while sulking over a pic of some high flyer standing and posing with the Lambo he had. We all do, shame aside. 

The questions we ask ourselves and the solutions we try finding are what get us into this mess. We ask broad questions with an option of multiple answers, and we do this deliberately to keep our choices open, only to find ourselves ending up nowhere.

The question that defines your life and success is pretty definite, simple, and boring.

Asking ourselves- “what sacrifices are we willing to make?” or ” what pain and struggle can we endure for the things we want?” is the correct way to gauge our stand. 

Yes, you want to be a top writer. I hear that.

Tell me, “what sacrifice are you willing to make to reach the top?”. If you end up doing what everyone else does, you end up where everyone else is. So, what are you willing to sacrifice, or what pain and struggle you can endure reaching where you desire?

Consider this; people crib over their out of shape bodies and crave the perfect physique. How do you get that? 

Desiring is one thing while putting in the hard work and sacrifice is the real deal. If you swoon over that perfect physique, you’ll have to appreciate the physical toll and pain that comes with it. You end up spending time in gyms and weighing your food portion. There is a sacrifice you make in quest to attain something you desire. The question here is- what lengths can you go? 

Are you okay spending hours in the gym when you could have comfortably sat at home doing nothing, or how about that oatmeal you took rather than fancying a big mac?

Think and answer yourself. What are you willing to struggle for, for it determines the kind of life you will live?

Who doesn’t want to have a great job? We all do.

A great job with financial independence is the most sought-after thing. When starting my career with a bank, I knew what to expect. But I wanted more money, a better role, and prospects. What began as a fixed time-bound job ended up squeezing every drop of blood and peace I had. It gave money and recognition but at a cost that I was willing to pay(not now).

Not everyone fancies the suffering that desire brings along. We all need instant gratification, while the reality is far from that. To get rich or the shit I desired demanded sacrifice, risk, and delayed gratification. I know many who are doing way more than this, but they reap far more benefits too, and at a cost and sacrifice they chose.

Are you willing to suffer and endure? You know the answer.

The wanting and suffering

The world around you and everything associated with it comes to one common thing- wanting.

Had it not been wanting, the marketers would have been living in oblivion. Everybody wants something, and we all want something more. We may not be able to define more, but we want it. The concept of enough does not prevail in modern society. We have no estimate of our enough.

Nonetheless, this constant wanting ideology does come with some costs. A bigger house comes with extra job hours and effort. A better body comes with training and sacrificing that delicious pizza you loved. So it comes with a simple logic of suffering for your wantings, for benefits do not come without some cost. 

What are you willing to suffer and sacrifice is the question we should ask?

If you only end up fantasizing about stuff while never achieving anything in return, it shows on you. It is a clear reflection of two things.  

  1. You fantasized about the wrong thing.
  2. You want something yet not willing to suffer the cost.

Perhaps, the only reason we end up short of achieving fantasies or desires lies in our inherent weakness of thrusting the desired effort. We want, wish, and fantasize, yet shy away from the pain or struggle required to bring things to fruition.  

So next time you witness someone living the high flying ostentatious life that you so desired- respect the person for putting in the work, effort, and the pain for the achievement. 

I mention flamboyance here since people crave it. On the contrary, you can live like a monk or a peaceful life as you deem fit. 

The beauty is- either way, you need to answer the same question. What are you willing to sacrifice?

Both lifestyles come at a cost.

What suffering will you choose?

Pick your favorite sports star, musician, or better yet, the family or friends, and you’ll end up realizing what brought them where they are. The question is relevant to every sphere of life. People who endure long working hours end up climbing the corporate hierarchy. People suffering physical pain and bruises end up becoming the best of athletes.

I read so many writers complaining about not earning and low views, and they are well within their rights to do so. But the question you need to ask is.

  • Am I willing to go for days without any views?
  • Will I be able to churn content after content and yet achieve no success?
  • Would a cheap or negative comment dishearten me? 

Yes, there is a limitation to where you can go, but do we reach that point even. We face few setbacks and hide our faces. All the questions you ask above are your endurance test and the sacrifices you must make. 

You won’t get success or anything by merely wishing it. What suffering you choose defines what you get in life.

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